SEOUL, July 14 (Korea Bizwire) — President Yoon Suk-yeol instructed officials Thursday to find ways to protect ordinary citizens from the financial pressures of high inflation and high interest rates.
Yoon made the remark a day after the Bank of Korea delivered an unprecedented 0.5 percentage-point rate hike in a preemptive bid to fight fast-growing inflation pressure from high energy and commodity prices.
“The rate hike was an inevitable step to control inflation, but that burden must not be passed on to the socially vulnerable,” he said during a weekly meeting on people’s livelihood issues with government and private sector officials.
“Unless the government provides preemptive support, ultimately the social cost will grow.”
Yoon said the government will fully utilize its financial resources to come up with solutions, including extending repayment deadlines and reducing interest rates for small business owners with debts.
For young people, the government will launch a special program to reduce their interest payments before they fall into arrears and extend the repayment of the principal, he said.
“If the economies of ordinary citizens crumble, the foundation of the country’s economy crumbles,” Yoon said.
“Once again, I ask relevant agencies to pay special attention to ensure the burden of high prices and high interest rates is not passed down to ordinary citizens and vulnerable groups.”